View from the Boot Room

Old skoolers like me will say the Premier League table doesn’t mean a thing until after Christmas. And it has certainly taken shape over the holiday period.

Liverpool are now permitted a ‘meep meep’ stretching their advantage to 14pts and it looks a straight fight between loving it Leicester and mithering Man City for second place. And then there is a skip full of oiled-up beauties ready to wrestle for the last Champions League spot.

Chelsea have looked a bit young and exposed in the last couple of months, but their grubby Russian money could talk in January. Mourinho’s transition at Tottenham hasn’t been a smooth as his talking. And Kane’s pinged hamstring won’t make them any more able.

Ole is still struggling to get to grips with that big, stiff steering wheel at Man United. The backseat drivers probably don’t help either.

And what about them Blades, eh? Personally, I think they’re starting to look a bit leggy. But I’ve been wrong before. So, let’s see what you think shall we?

Here’s the Most Selected XI…

PlayerClubPriceSelection %
Van DijkLIV£6.4m40%
Kelly (DEF)CRY£4.4m31.5%
Lundstram (SHU)SHU£5.1m47.2%
De BruyneMCI£10.6m51.7%
Soyuncu (DEF)LEI£5.1m19.9%
Cantwell (MID)NOR£4.9m23.9%
Salah (MID)LIV£12.3m25.1%
Ings (FOR)SOU£6.7m21.2%
Jimenez (FOR)WOL£7.5m19.2%

At the back…

There is a glut full of decent keepers available in the January sales – even though 19.9% of you are sticking with Brighton’s second choice Button. Eyes roll. Schmeichel heads the list, but Foster (WAT), Guaita (CRY), Henderson (SHU) and Ramsdale (BOU) are all Top Six performers for around £5.0m.

Half the back four has a predictable look. No reason to end your membership of the T-A-A. and VVD is hard to get rid of. But there are also bargains to be had…

Don’t ditch your Sheffield United steel just yet. Equal cases can be made for Baldock and Lundstram. And Arsenal defenders are suddenly back in the frame. Sokratis and Luiz have shot up the form and at £4.9m and £5.7m might be worth a look.

In the middle…

Alli has shuffled his way into reckoning – and could be a major player in the efforts to overcome the loss of Kane. You might also want to consider Man United’s moody Martial. He’s 4 in four starts, allows you £0.8m more leverage and plays upfront. Sterling has lost some ground to teammate De Bruyne – featuring in 22.6% of teams v 51.7%. But it’s not impossible to cater for both, if you box clever…

Midlander’s Grealish (AVL) and Traore (WOL) can be snapped up for £6.5m and £5.5m respectively. There’s Willian (CHE) if you’re feeling flush. Or Fleck (SHU) if you’re not.

Up top…

Three Englishmen lead the way at the sharp end. Faith in Vardy has wobbled a tad. Rashford is approaching undroppable status – 9 in eleven must be his best run ever. And Abraham (CHE) is back in favour – offering value and threat in equal measures.

Elsewhere, at £6.6m Ings is the outstanding third choice (10 in eleven by the way).

Keep Aubameyang (ARS) on ice following his dismissal. And Jimenez (WOL), Jesus (MCI) and Calvert-Lewin (EVE) head the form table.

That’s how it looks from here.